Yarhamukallah

Yarhamukallah (يَرْحَمُكَ ٱللَّٰهُ) is translated to 'May Allah have mercy on you.' When someone says "Alhamdulillah" after sneezing, believers should respond by saying "Yarhamukallah" if they are male or "Yarhamukillah" if they are female. Allah and the Prophet (S.A.W) have put great emphasis on basic etiquette. We learn manners through the Quran and Hadith and are taught the preferred behavior in all circumstances of life, and this includes sneezing. We are even taught the ethics of sneezing from the life of our beloved Prophet (S.A.W). As per which, when you sneeze, you say Alhumdullilah, and the person who hears you sneeze and say Alhamdulillah should respond with Yarhamukallah!

Science claims that when we sneeze, our heart function slows down, and it changes its rhythm for a microsecond. Now, we can see why Allah and His Prophet asked us to thank Allah after sneezing. Essentially, we are thanking Allah for ensuring the continuity of life after a sneeze disrupts the rhythm of our heartbeat. Similarly, the person who hears a fellow believer sneeze makes a prayer for them: May Allah have mercy on you in response.

About Yarhamukallah - Meaning, Pronunciation & Uses

يَرْحَمُكَ ٱللَّٰهُ

Yarhamukallah

May Allah have mercy on you

Yarhamukallah

Yar-ha-mu-kal-lah

Yarhamukallah

Pronunciation Guide for Yarhamukallah

Yarhamukallah is a relatively easier Arabic term to pronounce. Let's break it down and make it sound easy for you.

  1. Yar (say it in a go, where letter' r' should be prominent), Yah as in "yard"
  2. Ha (a with an open mouth), Ha as in "Heart"
  3. Mu (sound of moo)
  4. Kal (say it in a go; letter 'l' should be prominent), Kal as in "lull"
  5. Lah (say it like ‘la-ah’)

Now, try saying it in a go and gradually speed up to pronounce it in the best way.

Yarhamukallah: Yar-ha-mu-kal-lah

When to Say Yarhamukallah? Context and Usage

Unlike any other religion in the world, Islam teaches us and guides us in every aspect of life. From waking up till we go to bed and everything in between, Islam teaches us all the minor and major steps that help us carry our daily lives. Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) has instructed us to observe proper manners for sneezing, yawning, coughing, and anything that requires special ethics. Sneezing is a normal act and is considered a blessing of Allah as it helps us clear our nasal passage, helping us breathe properly. Allah's Messenger (S.A.W) teaches us to praise Allah by saying Alhumdullilha when you sneeze, and anyone who sees a person sneeze should reply with YarhamukAllah. It is stated in a Sahih Hadith, narrated by Abu Ayyub (R.A):

Prophet of Allah (S.A.W) said: "When one of you sneezes, let him say: Al-Humdullilah Ala Kulli Hal (All praises are due to Allah in every circumstance). And let the one replying to him say: Yarhamukuallah (May Allah have mercy upon you). And let him say to him: Yahdikumullah Wa Yuslihu Balakum (May Allah guide you and rectify your affairs)." (Jami’ at-Tirmidhi 2960, Book 43).

This hadith encourages us to give duas to each other, building mutual goodwill and brotherhood. YarhamukAllah is a dua that a Muslim gives to his brother in deen, asking Allah to have mercy on him. In reply, the brother who just sneezed also replies with a dua saying May Allah have mercy on both of us or can also reply with May Allah guide you and rectify your affairs.

Significance of Yarhamukallah in Light of the Quran and Hadith

Good behavior is promoted and encouraged in Islam. Wishing our brother or sister well by making a dua for them after they have sneezed is the best behavior. A hadith narrated by Anas (R.A) states that:

"Two men sneezed in the presence of the Prophet (S.A.W), and he replied (said: YarhamukAllah) to one and not to the other. It was said: 'O Messenger of Allah (S.A.W), two men sneezed in your presence, and you replied to one and not to the other?' He said: 'This one praised Allah (said: Alhumdullilah after sneezing), but that one did not." (Sunan Ibn Majah 3713, Book 33, Hadith 57).

In this hadith, we can see how important it is to praise Allah and remember Him in every small part of your life. In another Hadith, we can see how sneeze is different from yawn which is not liked by Allah. Abu Hurairah (R.A) reported:

"Prophet (S.A.W) said: Indeed Allah loves sneezing, and He dislikes yawn. So when one of you sneezes and says Alhumdullilha (All praise is due to Allah), then it is due on everyone who hears them to say YarhamukAllah (May Allah have mercy upon you). As for yawning, then when one you yawn let him suppress it as much as possible and not say: 'Hah Hah' for that is only from Ash-Shaitan laughing at him." (Jami At-Tirmidhi 2971, Book 43).

Yarhamukallah - Related Terms and Concepts

Sometimes, a person sneezes multiple times, so should we be replying to him all the time? This question is also answered by our Prophet (S.A.W). In a hadith narrated from Ilyas bin Salamah bin Akwa reported by his father:

"The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said: 'The one who sneezes may be responded to three times; if he sneezes more than that, he has a cold." (Sunan Ibn Majah 3714, Book 33, Hadith 58).

So, now we also know that if we sneeze more than 3 times, it's not just a sneeze but a cold that we should treat for relief. The Prophet also teaches us proper manners of sneezing. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A):

"Whenever the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) sneezed, he would cover his mouth with his hand or a piece of cloth – thereby suppressing the sound."

Rasool Allah (S.A.W) also teaches us how to sneeze. He instructed Muslims not to sneeze with a loud sound or with an open mouth. Moreover, he taught us to say Alhamdollilah and respond with Yarhamukallah. It is our duty as Muslims to know these basic etiquettes and teach them to others because it is these ethics taught by our Prophet (S.A.W) that sets us apart from other nations.